Armenian 10web startup brings AI website-building to WordPress։ Techcrunch

February 23, 2024  16:04

The prestigious Techcrunch periodical has written an article about the Armenian startup 10web, which provides an opportunity to create websites using WordPress. WordPress is an open source tool and that is why it is a bit complicated to use as it requires some knowledge of web design and hosting. This is exactly the problem that the Yerevan office of 10web aims to solve, which tries to make the use of this platform easier and more reliable through the integration of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as Llama 2, GPT-4, Stable Diffusion.

10web chose WordPress because it is on this platform that about 40% of existing websites in the world are built, due to its wide range of features. However, it takes a lot of effort to develop such a tool, because architecturally, it is not easy to build a platform for WordPress, 10web co-founder Artavazd Minasyan, who is also a co-founder at Krisp, a startup that removes background noise from audio using machine learning.

“You need to have a very good hosting infrastructure. You need to have a managed service to support WordPress security, backups and uptime. All those things are very, very hard because each of the websites is basically an instance,” he added. “In contrast, if you are building on a closed source solution, let’s say Wix or Squarespace, you just build one backend, and then for each website, you just generate some pages.”

Artavazd Minasyan expressed confidence that focusing on WordPress usability solutions will eventually pay off, thanks to the size of its open source community; two million developers use this service. Founded in 2017, 10web currently has at least 20,000 paying customers and a total of 1.5 million websites have been created through 10web.

10web does its monetization in two ways: by charging per site or by the number of visitors to the site. It plans to add a payment system that will allow users to charge their customers, with 10web in turn charging a portion of that as a commission.

Artavazd Minasyan said that the company currently generates an annual income of $5 million and it is expected that it will reach $25 million by the end of next year. Minasyan partially attributes the company's growth to its favorable geography in Armenia. Like other former members of the Soviet Union, Armenia has abundant and affordable engineering talent.

“We have AI talent, which is probably four times cheaper in Armenia than in the U.S. And here, we can access the best AI talent possible,” the founder suggested. “But if you are a web builder based in California, you gotta compete with Google, Amazon and OpenAI, so it’s not easy to get the best talent.” 

Techrcunch also notes that considering Armenia's relatively small economy, the country's entrepreneurs have historically sought to acquire capital abroad, especially in the United States. They used relatively cheap local labor and hired marketing and business development managers in the US, a strategy that 10web also uses.

“99% of Armenian startups target the U.S. market,” said the founder. “If you want to raise less than $1 million, you can raise from Armenian VCs, but if you want to raise a couple million for seed or tens of millions for Series A, you need to go to the U.S.”

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